Estonia: Alika Wins Eesti Laul 2023 with Bridges – Review

12 February 2023

As expected, the final of Eesti Laul 2023 was a showdown between Alika and her epic ballad, Bridges, and Ollie and his equally epic rock song, Venom. After Alika won the international jury vote with 85 points ahead of Bedwetters and Ollie equal on 67, the public vote confirmed the three as the super finalists. A new round of public voting then took place to solely decide the winner. Bedwetters were announced as finishing third, leaving it Alika vs Ollie. Alika looked far more apprehensive compared to the more calm and jovial Ollie, who no doubt sensed his fate. So it proved, Alika had more venom where it counted, taking the Eesti Laul crown and with it her ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest of 2023 in Liverpool.

Alika wins Eesti Laul 2023 with Bridges - Review - Estonia - Eurovision Song Contest
Alika wins Eesti Laul 2023 with Bridges – Image: Ken Mürk/ERR

The super final percentages were 42% to Alika, 33% to Ollie and 25% to Bedwetters. With Bedwetters’ Monster being a hard rock song like Venom, potentially that hurt Ollie’s chances as much as the potency of Alika’s Bridges. He was doubly unlucky in that sense.

The Top 3

01 Alika – Bridges
02 Ollie – Venom
03 Bedwetters – Monsters

Other Positions

04 Meelik – Tuju
05 Janek – House Of Glass
06 Sissi – Lighthouse
07 Inger – Awaiting You
08 Andreas – Why Do You Love Me
09 M Els – So Good (At What You Do)
10 Anett x Fredi – You Need To Move On
11 Elysa – Bad Philosophy
12 Mia – Üks samm korraga

Unlike some previous editions of Eesti Laul, there was no need for a rescue mission by the public to fix the bizarre results of the international jury. While they were initially throwing around 12 points to so many people that the host, Grete Kuld, might even get a set, eventually they settled on the same top three as the public. The 11 jurors were predominantly internationally successful artists, producers, songwriters from Europe and the USA (4 from there alone) and the rationale is there’s not enough impartial Estonian experts to form a jury. Surely there’s a few to add balance, especially to help promote songs in Estonian. Note that the public keep voting even after the jury presents their results.

Alika performs Bridges at the 2023 Eesti Laul Final - Review - Estonia - Eurovision Song Contest
Alika performs Bridges at the 2023 Eesti Laul Final – Image: Ken Mürk/ERR

After her win, Alika thanked all the finalists and said that they all deserved to win:“I think that there are not so many words in my Estonian language vocabulary to put this sentence together beautifully. I want to say a big, big thank you for believing in me and that this energy reached you. Thank you very much for being there”. Alika, full name Alika Milova, comes from Narva, a small city in eastern Estonia on the border with Russia. It’s a pleasant town, most known for its spectacular 15th century castle.


01 Meelik – Tuju (4th)

After dismissing it following the semi finals, I can see the quirkiness and appeal of this. The rapid nature of the song suits, and they look an interesting bunch of boys. It just needed a bit more. Fourth is a good result. 6/10

02 Inger – Awaiting You (7th)

Take a break… for a few years. Inger presents as a tired artist. We’ve seen her thing, and while she went a little more uptempo this year, it’s still Inger doing her thing. There’s no upswing happening, unlike last year with boring Stefan who finally reached his peak and became smiling Stefan. 5/10

03 Janek – House of Glass (5th)

This always gives a strong sense of a quality song and voice. Janek just didn’t show enough on the stage, and that hurt his chances of a higher place. 7/10

04 Elysa – Bad Philosophy (11th)

Elysa took my advice that she needed to juice up the song following the semi finals and there was notably more power to her own vocals, while backing singers were also added. Or she could have realised it herself, especially after only reaching the final via a wildcard slot. I mentioned in the comments of the Youtube page for her preview video that Bad Philosophy sounded a bit one key throughout and really did nothing during the latter stages of the song. Along with a big “bad philosophy” to finish off the song and a stronger final chorus section in general, Elysa changed outfits from black to red, got new choreography and there was direct focus on her during the bridge. It was a pleasing transformation, and that she still only finished 11th is a little puzzling. The camera work did get a bit sloppy, and perhaps the performance needed even more energy. Anyway, thanks for a great song, Elysa! 8/10

05 M Els – So Good (At What You Do) (9th)

The sloppy camera work continued here after M Els kicked over the microphone stand as part of her performance, and then captured on camera was a stage hand removing it. Anyway, So Good was good! A nice, jazzy number, and a pleasant voice. 6/10

06 Bedwetters – Monsters (3rd)

Much improved from the semi finals for this catchy and enigmatic rock song, notably the lead singer wore a different monster outfit than the icky one previously. It was totally different being only a half mask, and he went bare chested throughout the evening. The bigger stage gave them more presence too. Third is a top result considering the calibre of the two that finished ahead of them. 7/10

07 Andreas – Why Do You Love Me (8th)

Snoozefest. I’ve never liked this sappy, R&B stuff, and nothing changes with this. 3/10

08 Alika – Bridges (1st)

A vocal tour de force. Alika was light years in front of everyone when it came to vocals, and then she had the song too. The only risk was something entirely different that could find its own specific appeal. Even then, it would need to be something completely amazing. I would advise Alika not to get tempted into crazy mannerisms and overtly acting out the song with hand gestures. It doesn’t need it – they can be annoying – and you’re good enough already, girl. Let the song and your voice do the talking. 9/10

09 Anett x Fredi – You Need To Move On (10th)

I think we all need to move on from this. Didn’t compare to their 2020 entry, Write About Me, and when you’re sandwiched between Alika and Ollie, the producers are telling you something. Tenth place is about right. The redeeming factor is that Anett is vocally superb, so you can appreciate her singing anything, even inferior jazz. 6/10

10 Ollie – Venom (2nd)

Stunning introduction as it launches into the power part of the song, and Ollie ripped the vocals throughout. While I’d suggest there was too much camera shudder in the presentation, Ollie was simply unfortunate enough to be in a year that included Alika and the majestic, Bridges. In most other years, he probably wins Eesti Laul. 9/10

11 Mia – Üks samm korraga (12th)

Nice Estonian song, in Estonian, by a nice Estonian female singer, and included a piano section on an Estonia piano. It was so sweet and Mia’s voice is distinct and powerful. Judging by her introduction video, Mia’s story is a nice one, being the mother of two young children, and was really living her dream. Unfortunately she got the Dick Dastardly double-zero points, albeit Eesti Laul converts jury and public votes into Eurovision points, 12 to 1. With 12 songs and just 10 sets of points, two songs ultimately will get zero from each the jury and public vote. Mia with 25 and Elysa with 36 were the two lowest from the jury so got zero points. Full public votes are not yet revealed. 8/10

12 Sissi – Lighthouse (6th)

Solid effort and vocally strong. Sissi is a bit in the same camp as Inger: we’ve seen it all before. Learn from smiling Stefan: take a break and come back with a really good, distinct song. 6/10

With an average score of 6.7, it was actually a good Eesti Laul. No doubt boosted by the two high quality entries of Alika and Ollie, the personal appreciation of Elysa and Mia, and nothing on the nose except for Andreas. That’s all it takes. Last year scored 6.6.

My Top 3

01 Alika – Bridges
02 Ollie – Venom
03 Elysa – Bad Philosophy


04 Mia – Üks samm korraga
05 Janek – House Of Glass
06 Bedwetters – Monsters
07 M Els – So Good (At What You Do)
08 Meelik – Tuju
09 Anett x Fredi – You Need To Move On
10 Sissi – Lighthouse
11 Inger – Awaiting You
12 Andreas – Why Do You Love Me

15 February 2023 – Update

Full Results Revealed

Alika was by far the most popular with the public throughout Eesti Laul 2023. She won the second semi final easily, almost tripling the vote tally of the second placed artist, Elysa. In the final, Alika led the public vote with 8514 votes to Ollie on 6832 and Bedwetters on 4685. That pattern continued in the super final where she received 13141 votes to Ollie’s 10280 and Bedwetters’ 7991. The only area Alika didn’t blitz was with the jury in her semi final, finishing a close second to Sissi, 114 to 111. In the final she won the jury vote easily. Note that the jury in the semi finals is a local one compared to an international jury in the final.

In the first semi final, Ollie won the jury easily, while the public vote was close between him on 1397 votes, Bedwetters on 1335, and Mia on 1326. Curiously, Mia then finished second last in the second round of voting to select a fifth song for the final, which is decided solely by the public. Janek, initially sixth overall, was their selection. Elysa, in the second semi final, was similar: second with the public and only second in the second round, with M Els (seventh overall) taking the spot. Eesti Laul only take the top four from each semi final on the combined jury and public vote, and both ladies finished fifth. Ultimately they reached the final via the new wildcard process, where they proved the two most popular.

Estonia: Eesti Laul 2023 Final – Preview & My Top 12

Stefan wins Eesti Laul 2022 with Hope


One response to “Estonia: Alika Wins Eesti Laul 2023 with Bridges – Review

  1. Pingback: Sweden: Loreen Wins Melodifestivalen 2023 With Tattoo – Review | Mr Eurovision Australia·

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